February 11th, 2017 | Album reviews

All This Life Goin Down
Do Not Disturb

Over the last several years, Shannon Lay has become synonymous with fiery performances, frenetic guitar playing, and powerful vocals as one quarter of L.A. indie rockers FEELS (previously known as Raw Geronimo). However, for her solo vinyl debut All This Life Goin Down, Lay takes a markedly different direction from the fierce intensity of FEELS and delivers one of the most beautifully delicate bedroom-pop albums one might hope to hear. The record finds Lay at her most stripped-down and raw so far in her recorded career, but it never at any point sounds bare or empty. Instead, the space is filled with the lush qualities of Lay’s voice and acoustic guitar which seems to trail off in the air like wisps of cigarette smoke. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of these recordings is how intimate they feel. There is never a moment that passes where it doesn’t feel like Lay is in the room, performing these songs by herself. There is strength in presenting yourself with nothing to hide behind, and that is exactly what Shannon Lay does on All This Life Goin Down. Here she can speak simply, directly, and honestly, drawing listeners in just as closely as Jackson C. Frank or Judee Sill ever did.

— Simon Weedn